Citizens have demanded that the 2% transaction tax be scrapped, saying it is a burden to the already financially hamstrung and over-taxed population.
This came out on Monday during the 2023 pre-budget public hearings being conducted by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget and Finance and the Parliamentary Thematic Committee on Sustainable Development Goals.
The 2% intermediated levy on all electronic transactions was introduced in 2018 by Finance minister Mthuli Ncube as part of measures to generate more revenue for the fiscus.
Participants in Harare said government should reduce the tax burden on ordinary people and increase corporate tax.
Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (Zimcodd) representative Darlington Mazonga said: “In this country we have so many inequalities, the rich are enjoying on their own. My plea is for government to increase corporate tax, pay as you earn and totally scrap the 2% tax because the tax regime has increased poverty levels in the country.”
On debt, he said government should explain how it accrued debts, and what the money was used for.
“We appeal for a debt audit to be introduced,” he said.
Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) local ecumenical fellowship and economic justice champion Gibson Botomani said: “We need to leverage on our mineral resources so that we have a citizens’ reprieve from paying taxes. Citizens are heavily taxed and the 2023 national budget must allocate adequate resources to the ministries of Health and Education. Government must be transparent in contract disclosure.”
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Charles Kautare (Zimcodd) encouraged the Finance ministry to adopt the United States dollar finance model in its budgetary processes.
“Maternity user fees should be scrapped at all levels of government. We appeal to Ncube to use the United States dollar finance model so that runaway inflation will be effectively dealt with,” Kautare said.
Zimbabwe Women Against Corruption Trust director Sandra Matendere called for adequate funding of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission to enable it to effectively execute its duties.
Zimbabwe Network of Early Childhood Development Actors representative Never Dodo said the Primary and Secondary Education ministry should set aside 5% of its budget for early childhood development.
People with disabilities demanded disability-friendly budgets.
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